Post # 1
The other day the photography contract was finally signed for my September wedding. Since deciding on a new photographer over a month ago it has been a game of cat and mouse to try and light a fire under the photographer to get the contract signed and things in motion.
The entire time she knew I wanted to take advantage of the complimentary engagement shoot before September and she never told me it wouldn’t be possible, she implied that it was just a matter of finding a date/time that worked for the both of us. The only thing that prevented me from booking the engagement shoot over a month ago was that she said we first had to sign the contract and get the deposit down.
Earlier this week I ended up having to email her and tell her that if we could not get a contract signed now and the shoot booked that I would need to start looking at other photographers, which got her going. As soon as she had my credit card payment confirmed and the contract in her hands I told her that she could just give me the best time/date for the engagement shoot because I’d just work around her…. then it all hit the fan.
She informed me that over the past month she fully booked herself up for the rest of her photography season this year. She booked 3 other weddings since I talked to her last and they took up all of her engagement shoots – she had not remembered that I had clearly stated I had wanted it before the wedding. She was in a panic as she could tell I was getting mad with her and she offered to extend the offer until the end of June 2015 and I could use it for any kind of photoshoot that I wanted to. The biggest reason I wanted it done was because we wanted the chance to work with her before the wedding!
At this point I really had no choice and had to accept this as she already had a 25% non refundable deposit. When I told my FI he was of course furious because she had also given him the impression that booking the engagement shoot was not going to be a problem at all. He feels that it is pointless to have photos done early next summer (she is only available for this April-June as she is having a baby in December) as there are no occasions to want to take pictures. At that point we will only have been married for half a year so it won’t be like an anniversary shoot, we don’t plan on getting pregnant… it just feels like a waste.
Has anyone had a shoot like this only 6 months after they had wedding photos done? The only thing I can think of doing is having sort of a “family picture” done with us and our pets but even then it feels like a waste of time and money (for any prints) to have this done!
Post # 2
I would ask for a percent off. Bc of her delaying the contract and not allowing you to book the shoot before the contract was signed, you shouldn’t be held responsible for this…. Or tell her you want your deposit back, given that you went with her bc of the details… And now she changes them after she takes your money….
id go with someone else
Post # 3
graygodess20: I had already asked her about a potential discount for missing out on the before wedding shoot or getting a refund on the deposit… she quoted the contract back to me where it specified that the engagement shoot is complimentary with “no cash value” so therefor she cannot give a discount for not taking it, and she said that the deposit is non-negotiable. So it looks like I am stuck in a pickle here!
I am tempted to just tell her to forget about the free shoot next year (as her website now indicates she is not coming back until May (not April like she said) which gives us only 60 days to figure out what we can do for photos.
Post # 4
WeddingBells2014: what is the exact language of the contract regarding the engagement shoot? Does it use the term “engagement shoot” because that would automatically imply before your wedding, since you will no longer be engaged after the wedding. She obviously knew your wedding date when you signed the contract since it should be stated in the contract. If she cannot accomodate the engagement shoot before the wedding, then I would think that would be grounds to void the contract and return the deposit (since that was made in good faith of her fulfilling the contract). If you used credit card to pay the deposit, I would take this claim up with them and get them to cancel that charge, and then find a new photographer.
Post # 5
WeddingBells2014: I’m with graygodess20: – I’d go with someone else too. Personally I have NO tolerance for omitting or delaying telling you very important information.
We were extremely grateful for the opportunity to have an engagement shoot with our photographers before our wedding. We were more relaxed and had a good idea of what sort of shots and poses appealed to us. Everyone benefitted from the experience.
Post # 6
leprechaura: The term used in the contract is “complimentary engagement shoot” but it also mentions in a blurb that there is no cash value to this shoot and she is not responsible for scheduling conflicts. It seems like I am screwed but I’m going to forward it to a friend I have who is a lawyer to see if he can give me advice on where I stand.
I’m going to start looking around at other photographers just in case but I am doubtful of finding someone with less than 3 months to go!
Post # 7
- Wedding: August 2013 - The Liberty House
She seriously can’t fit you in? What a jerk, she could be a little more flexible since it was she who held up the process.
Post # 8
WeddingBells2014: Your lawyer friend will know best, but I would interpret the “scheduling conflicts” as being scheduling on your end. If she has zero availability, and offered you a complimentary shoot KNOWING she had no way of fulfilling it, and you signed the contract on the grounds of receiving that shoot, then that is not a conflict, that is fraud. She sold a service (free or not) that she knew she could not fulfill. Personally, I would either a) take this up with the credit card company to void the charge, or b) get a very harshly worded letter from your lawyer friend outlining this case against her for fraud and threaten small claims courts and negative reviews. She might back down and refund the money (since she apparently is soooo good at booking new weddings) just because it isn’t worth the hassle.
Good luck! And also, next time you sign a contract with a vendor, make sure all YOUR dates, desires, and requirements and anything discussed verbally is outlined in it. The contract isn’t just for the vendor, it is for you too! You can always edit them before signing!
Post # 9
She can only do three engagement shoots a month? How flexible are you about the date of the session? We only do engagement sessions on weekdays since weddings are reserved for weekends. That said, it still leaves us with a ton of open dates for engagement sessions.
Post # 10
the great thing about credit cards is that you can always open a dispute and get your money back 🙂 please call your credit card company and tell them about how she mislead you into signing a contract with a deposit knowing you needed the photoshoot by September and now refuses to follow through- that’s fraudulent! She verbally assured you the photoshoot could get done and now that she has the money she’s not holding up her end of the deal. (any emails discussing September will greatly help your case) I’d dispute it! Get your money back and run away from this photographer!